Indieterria meets Avalanche Party

Honourable comrades!

Avalanche Party is one of the most important new bands on the indie scene at the moment. Formed in 2014, AP (as they are known to their fans) built an impressive resume in a relatively short period of time. They travelled throughout the UK and mainland Europe, performed in NYC and at the famous SXSW in Texas, recorded at the desert studios somewhere in the Death Valley in California. They also played at all the important summer festivals and shared stages with the best of the best in rock music.

The band is known for its wild, mesmerizing shows, full of drama, sweat and hypnotic music. And for their specific, dry, half-sarcastic, half-abstract sense of humour. Just few days before their gig in Birmingham and the release of their debut album, we sat down with vocalist and front-man, Jordan Bell to discuss their videos, trips to America and what can we expect from the Avalanche Party in 2020.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

BBC Radio 1 calls you “The most exciting rock & roll band in the UK right now.” But let’s take things to the very beginning. How and where did Avalanche Party form?

Jordan Bell: Keep an open yoghurt in your kitchen fridge for long enough and over time, it will morph and grow into something quite remarkably different from the yoghurt you once knew. Until you can no longer bear to keep it in your refrigeration station and have no choice but to toss it out into the big bad world. It was kind of like that. We’re from North Yorkshire, if it makes a difference. Where the wild things are and the OneStops aren’t.

You managed to keep the news of your debut album completely under wraps. There were no mentions, no leaks, no warnings and then on 27th of August a bomb was dropped. In the era where people lead their entire existence online, did you think it was important to keep your fans unaware of what was coming?

Jordan Bell: Definitely and that’s something which extends past fans and straight into the band itself. Two members didn’t even know the album had been recorded and our manager still doesn’t. Keep it to yourselves.

The album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is finally due on 22nd of November. We are intrigued by the title? Trephine are commonly used in bone surgery and dentistry, but we are certain that NHS cannot afford a 24 carat ones. Where does the title come from? Is there a particular meaning behind it?

Jordan Bell: Trephines are still knocking around but the album title is based on the more primitive versions used for trepanning – the old practice of cutting holes in the head to let out the evil spirits responsible for strange behaviours. There seems to be some kind of parallel between that and listening to music which makes sense. It’s a 24 carat diamond one because, it’s not just any old Trephine. This one’s special, it cuts right to the heart of the matter. As far as we know, a 24 Carat Diamond Trephine is the only reliable Trephine for evil spirit excavation, these days.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

To promote your debut, the band released three singles in span of four months: “7”, “El Dorado” and “Rebel Forever”. They are completely different from each other: “7” is two minute cacophony of noise, “El Dorado is an experimental ballad of 6 minutes and “Rebel Forever” is quite a catchy, mainstream, radio-friendly track. The upcoming album seems to be very varied in terms of genres and song length. What can we expect from it? Was it a conscious decision to make it as variable as possible?

Jordan Bell: Well yeah it is, we’ll give you that one. We made a conscious decision to attempt as many different genres as possible, because Kane’s uncle, Simon said, we need to try and be like a band that appeals to a massive audience. Like Swedish House Mafia or Catfish & The Shottybottlemen. We went away and thought about it for a bit. Next time we saw him, he said, “Well? Who have you chosen with a massive audience in a particular musical genre that you can be like? Preferably a genre with a long musical history, so you can appeal to the mams and dads and grandies, too?” “Yes”, we said. “Who is it? Miley Cirrhosis? Post Maloon?” “Both”, we said. He nearly fell off his whippet.

Buy it and see.

Avalanche Party always had incredible videos – cinematic, pop culture inspired with complicated, sometimes brutal storylines. The video to “7” shows what only can be described as some sort of illegal experiment, “El Dorado” takes the viewer to America for a mini road movie where nothing really happens and “Rebel Forever” is a dream-like, kaleidoscopic drug-induced nightmare. How important is the visual side of storytelling for you? Are you going to use the videos on tour in some way?

Jordan Bell: “El Dorado” is actually a live video we shot at our last gig in Birmingham! (laughing)

Let’s stick to the videos for a while longer – Bobby Bentham, lead singer of Strange Bones and your personal friend, plays the subject of the experiment in “7”. How do you recall working with him on the set? We have to say he’s terrifyingly convincing.

Jordan Bell: Bobby was perfect for the role given he is THE method acting champion of the world. It was a very, very nice afternoon requiring very little direction or instruction, which began with him floating east by the medium of transpennine express and peaked with me serving him watermelons through the air to flamboyantly slice with a samurai sword in slow motion. He fucking nailed it. And the knife throwing. His gran was in the Yakuza for a bit, so he picked up some stuff. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he’ll be fine. In fact, I’m moving into his house. He’s a great friend and Strange Bones are the fucking dons. He taught me how to swim, but that’s another story.

Jordan Bell live, picture by Jason Ferdinand

Few days ago, the band announced that NHS professionals have a free entry to your gigs on this tour. That’s a very generous way of supporting the National Health Service. Is this your way of protesting against the cuts and showing the solidarity with the workers?

Jordan Bell: It’s a nice thing to do for people, who give a lot, working insane hours and dealing with insane shit for fuck all. The harrowing stuff they have to see and do on a daily basis is truly incredible and they have saved the lives of many, many people near and close to us all.

2019 was a breakthrough year for the band. First SXSW and American festivals, then a session for legendary radio station KEXP for The International Clash Day in London. You recently returned to US to play more gigs. And you are about to embark on a 19 dates long national tour. It must be both incredibly exciting time, but also a challenging one.

Jordan Bell: Big up KEXP. Yeah, but we can see the progression in our music and in ourselves and it’s easy to keep going. It feels far more exciting than challenging. And as our tour manager, Jimmy Mac says – you can sleep when you’re dead! Or in his case, whenever he hits the nice straight bit going past that house in the middle of the M62.

After the UK tour is done and a well deserved Christmas break, can we expect an EU tour in the spring of 2020?

Jordan Bell: No, Brexit means Breakfast (laughing). Joke, it’s a joke! Yeah, we’re going back to the mainland, maybe even sooner than spring. We always have a great time over there and it feels like it’s been too long since we last went, so lets see which way the wind blows.

Debut album – track list

The famous last question – trips to US, especially to SXSW are known to be culinary adventurous. We heard stories of the UK bands being hospitalized after trying the nuclear hot Austin sauce or having margaritas for every meal. What was your diet like at the conference? 

Jordan Bell: I ate great. Have you seen the size of the carrots over there? Superb. I survived for 3 days on just one single Carrot. Apart from that, I can see why people could struggle but personally – absolutely no problems.  Our friends in Trail Of Dead took us for the full Austin BBQ experience, our hosts made amazing blueberry pancakes, showed us Cookie Dough and made great egg foo young. And at the festival, we grabbed everything free & edible that wasn’t nailed to Lady Gaga!

Follow Avalanche Party on their socials:
https://www.avalancheparty.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AvalancheParty
https://twitter.com/avalanche_party
https://www.instagram.com/avalancheparty/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVQHS8es36atxJMBqh8jAlQ

 

And while we are waiting for the debut album, the band released a fourth single to a song called “Howl”. You can watch the AP guys perform in some sort of distorted version of “Top of the Pops” below:

“24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is released in three days time, but several influential websites, zines and blogs already listened to it and gave it fantastic reviews. We have gathered several of them for your reading pleasure:

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is an eleven track joyride that veers from the poetic and introspective to a ferocious barrage of explosive energy. Brimming with their infamous live urgency, it’s a masterfully curated album that ranges from full-throttle sonic assault (7, HAHA) to refrained moments of cool clarity to catch your breath (Hey Misdemeanour, Every Last Drop). The legendary James Aparicio (Grinderman, Spiritualized) was the man tasked with taming the beast and it’s a production that does no such thing. It’s an album barely contained, constantly teetering on the edge of insanity but is completely alluring throughout.

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is undoubtedly a fist-raising crowd pleaser, but like contemporaries Fat White Family, Viagra Boys or The Blinders, they’ve used it as an opportunity to enforce their own birds-eye view of the world. They tackle hefty themes of anger and fear, the capitalist machine that drives us ever closer to the great flaming End, cloak-and-dagger corporate greed, the environment, lyrics of love, death and an individual’s walk through a world they were spat into, laughing as they go” – Rough Trade Magazine
https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/avalanche-party/24-carat-diamond-trephine/

“‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is an album of transformation, just as the process that turns leaves to coal, and coal to diamonds. ‘Cruel Madness’ is less At The Drive-In, more The Mars Volta and the kind of theatrical rock the likes of Alex Turner and Muse might favour, the ‘new day, new dawn’ lyric a blatant burn but also a statement of the company this band now sees itself in. Closer, ‘Rebel Forever’ is an instant classic revisiting ‘Howl’’s giddy and unexpected high points and reprising the ‘El Dorado’ theme in the lyrics; and with just enough Psycho Killer energy that should see it become a restless reference point for the band; a moment in time, a place, a memory…” – Steve Spithray for God is in the TV Zine
http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2019/11/18/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine-so-knee-records/

“There’s so much to explore on this album and it’s likely to take a few listens before it starts to really blossom into its true form. But there’s no escaping this is an extremely impressive and ambitious debut that aside from a few nods to influences is unlike anything else out there. The band have managed to showcase their genre-bending best and sewn it all together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of an album that’s indicative of their terrifying potential” –  Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blog
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/11/album-review-avalanche-party-24-carat.html

“My favourite track at the moment is ‘Howl’ the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to ‘Howl’ then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is ‘Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream’. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of ‘HA HA’ to the deeply mellow buzz of ‘Hey Misdemeanour’ the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during ‘Playing Field Blues’ using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but ‘Every Last Drop’ is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of ‘Cruel Madness’ and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with ‘Rebel Forever’ which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!” – With Just A Mint of Mayhem Blog
https://withjustahintofmayhem.blog/tag/avalanche-party/

We cannot wait to see AP in Birmingham this Saturday.
Support your scene kids!

Malicia and Rita

Indieterria presents North Central Music and A Northern Underground

Dear Readers,

Aren’t you tired of the same songs and voices on the radio? Yes, us too.  So, we will tell you a secret – there is life outside the Top 40. The indie underground music is currently going though incredible renaissance – not only with bands and artists having something new to say – lyrically and musically. Promoters, managers and other industry professionals are trying new things, bringing new gigs and start projects that will soon revolutionise the music scene.

Sed Seddon is one of those industry professionals, who work tirelessly behind the stages and without much fanfare – but the bands he champions and  the events he puts out can be summarised as trailblazing.  We sat down with Sed to speak about his work ahead of massive two day weekender in Liverpool and Manchester he organised called A Northern Underground that will take place on 16th and 17th November.

North Central Music logo

You act as a booker, artist manager, industry influencer – please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?

Sed Seddon: Hi I’m Sed! I’ve played bass in bands for a long time and founded artist management company early this year.  It`s what I love more than playing to be honest.  I’ve been involved in lots of scenes in different places and different genres – from Wigan, Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool to London. I started out in heavy metal for about 20 years and now I found this beautiful underground scene that makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – discovering new bands consistently. More recently, I found The Novus, Kid Kapitchi and of course my new favourite band of all time – Avalanche Party who I adore.

As you mentioned you have been involved in music business for ages. Looking back at the time spent working in the industry – what skills are helpful in the hardest business on earth?

Sed Seddon:  Wouldn’t say “I work” as yet, because I’m still looking to make enough money to live off doing it. But “I`m involved” for sure. Hard industry is probably the biggest understatement one will ever say to me personally. It’s beyond anything for someone from the streets of Wigan with zero support. I’ve lost count of the amount of failed attempts at it in whatever form in this industry. Skill that you need to learn is to recognise change when it’s happening. Be it playing in a band, working for a band, organising events or more importantly when a scene is changing. Play your cards close but the biggest rule is DON`T BE A DICK. It costs nothing to be nice and I don’t care who you are. Never stop learning , soak up opportunity and take it in your stride. When you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself off and start again and repeat for as long as it takes (laughs)

Dirty Circus signing to North Central Music

Tell us about the company you have founded – North Central Music – it specialises in artists management and live events. Who is on your roster and do you look for acts to represent?

Sed Seddon: North Central Music has been an idea for a good while, couple of years maybe. The name only came this year, the company was launched in May/ June after a brilliant Sound City Music Business Entrepreneur course in Liverpool that ran for 10 weeks. The course finished a week before Sound City event so got the logo designed and cards printed up that week and I went on the network hunt which went very well (cheers Joe for putting up with the late video calls trying sort everything last minute).

North Central Music is growing. We have the excellent Fay Toulios on board dealing with our socials who’s amazing and taking everything in her stride.

The point of North Central Music is connection and calibration with our southern friends. In January this year, I had a meeting with two southern friends (even though one of them is actually Mancunian) about partnering up but it went to stale-mate as I didn’t have the full idea of what NCM was going to represent or become at that time. Something else to be learned in this business is the rule is if things works out then go with it, if they don’t – then drop it.

Dirty Circus are NCM first signing to the management roster and they are from Wigan. Like a lot of good bands they had a tough ride a few years ago but they have now returned to the game. The new music is brilliant. Love them boys, we go back years. It’s mad how it came about. Dirty Circus is influenced by Madchester movement, electronic indie vibes with new age punk thrown into the mix for a good measure. Can`t wait to get proper stuck in as it’s only just began really! The plan is to grow around a band a year. I find it pointless having 15 favourite bands on the record – I’m bringing it all together as I go. You need to adapt as a company and I am constantly adapting at the moment, so everything fits into place. But just think how things will look in 3-4 years from now as there’s loads going on behind the scenes.

What is your outlook on the indie circuit at the moment? Any particular scenes and bands that caught your ear?

Sed Seddon: Each part of the country offers something slightly different but as it is in the North, the London scene really is booming. They even have separate  scenes in different parts of London! Just think – it`s actually a scene within a scene!?? I go to London a few times a year but not fully gripped there scene as yet.

But all the new music from around the UK fits underneath this perfect umbrella of “new wave of British punk” and I think we are on the cusp of an amazing movement, everything what’s happening now is the beginning of what’s to come. Rage Against The Machine are now back together  too what’s just adding fuel to the fire. But I think all music genres and punk is crossing over. Electronic punk Fat White Family are a band I’ve only seen once very recently but like Dirty Circus or Tea Street Band they are cross over bands, as are Working Men’s Club. Then you’ve your hardcore Strange Bones, Kid Kapitchi and False Heads. Crows and The Murder Capital are more metal or doom sounding. We also have this commercial sounding punk like Idles, Shame and Heavy Lungs. Avalanche Party, The Novus or The Blinders go along the lines of cult /goth . It’s just huge there’s so many criss -crosses of genres – all representing the exact same thing and it’s all bubbling under the ground…it’s very special.

Another project you have been heavily involved is A Northern Underground. It is a mammoth two day weekender happening in Manchester and Liverpool on 16-17 November 2019. How did that come about?

Sed Seddon:  The event came about completely by accident. I was trying to grow North Central Music on the live front so I spoke to southern friends and fellow promoters at Live Circuit about putting a tour together. They book two dates and send two southern bands and I’ll do the same.

So Saturday (16th November) and Sunday (17th November) are the Northern dates and I thought I’ll make both dates both all dayers to push the boat out. I said to myself “Hmmm Let’s get a good big headliner!”

To make it happen, I chased many agents but it was all too soon . So I asked friends in Rival Bones if they fancied both dates. Then just tied all together with some great poster art (thanks Evercloud). Everything came together in about 3 weeks.

Stage times at Liverpool and Manchester gigs

You basically created a two day festival with incredible line up. Each day will have around ten acts. Let`s start with the Liverpool date. Who will be on the stage and where is the event happening?

Sed Seddon:  Liverpool event happens at The Jaracanda. Some bands such as Idealistics, Rival Bones, Manalishi, Brain Ape and Dutch Mustard are all playing both dates. It made sense as they all fit under the neu grunge wave that’s also bubbling underground around the UK. Idealistcs are from Cambridge – we asked them to join the show quite late after we had had spoken to Ali Hirsz (bassist and front woman) on the phone about her band being refused shows because Ali has a rare condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome meaning she needs tubes that are on display to feed her heart with minerals and promoters don’t like it basically. This goes against all the NCM ethos and to be honest it completely broke me. Ridiculous situation. Thanks to people for pointing this out to us in the first place. All money raised from this event is going directly to charity EDS Trust to help raise awareness. My mum as well as other promoters has worked for charity for years so it’s nice to follow their footsteps too.

Other bands on the bill are Persian Hugs and Elevant – I`ve seen them at Sound City this year and  I loved them. Mr Ted are on board Society Of Loosers Records – that’s a hardcore label in Liverpool and they are worth huge recommendation. Lastly, I`ve seen Vulture Cult support Rival Bones last year so they were a definitely good fit for the weekender.

For those who want to come to the Manchester date – what do you have in store?

Sed Seddon:  In Manchester we overtake AATMA. Square Wild, Idealistcs and Dutch Mustard are the only bands on the bill fronted by women. Next year we will aim around the 50/50 mark as again the bands with front women are really coming through the ranks. Dutch Mustard are probably one of my latest favourites along with False Advertising and The Mysterines. They are amazing live and can’t wait to see them on Northern Territory so come down and see how they play.

Slow Hand Clap fit under the “three piece band neu grunge” umbrella but these boys add something a little different and don’t just sound like Nirvana. I’ve seen Careering the other month – they are Manchester’s answer to At The Drive In.

The Kecks and Refuge Island are travelling bands. Refuge Island come from Scotland and The Kecks are from Germany. Seen these men few months ago and we stayed friends. Great lads!

Beside promoting new and emerging artists, A Northern Underground aims to raise funds for charity. Please tell us more about the charity you will be supporting.

Sed Seddon:  So the charity is called Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, something I’ve never heard of until chatting to Ali Hirsz of Idealistics. So, with everything that happened with Ali, I contacted all the bands to asked them to waive their fees for charity instead.

Ehlers-Danlos Support UK is the only one of its kind in the UK and its symbol is a zebra. Actually, Idealistics wrote and recorded a single called “Here comes the Zebras”. That song is fucking beautiful and it was that voice and that song that brought me to tears in the end. Everything`s going to charity and raising funds for this cause is fucking beautiful. Music is beginning to speak again against the government and all what’s going on with the country and I guess this is our way of speaking and giving the middle finger to the assholes on the streets and promoters thinking it’s nice to bully people as well to refuse them shows. We created a little chance for Ali and Idealistics to play and hopefully it creates more chances for them and makes other promoters listen.


Your plate is already full – but what are your plans
for 2020? What can we expect from North Central Music in the new year?

Sed Seddon:  Our energy will be going directly on the band we manage, Dirty Circus. Obviously the Underground event is also  100% growing and we are looking at new avenues to less unfamiliar territory but sticking with Northern & NCM ethos. Keeping things new and fresh, some things will stick, some things won’t – but that’s the biz I guess.

Famous last question: You describe yourself as a lover of all you can eat buffets. What would be on your dream buffet, or a dream rider?

Sed Seddon: Mate I don’t even care …just a plate, knife and fork in the middle of an all you can eat buffet and I’m gone for hours! That one on Deansgate is the bomb!

Event poster

A Northern Underground happens on 16th November 2019 in Liverpool:
https://www.facebook.com/events/724294691343894/

And on 17th November 2019 in Manchester
https://www.facebook.com/events/2446994828867804/

Tickets can be  purchased from the links below:

Liverpool
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/liverpool/the-jacaranda-club-liverpool/lc/2019-11-16/15:00/t-rdgjpj

Manchester
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/manchester/aatma/lc/2019-11-17/14:00/t-xxjyda

Additional reading:
https://www.rgm.press/a-northern-underground-weekender-musical-double-header-showcases-emerging-talent-across-manchester-liverpool/uncategorized/

You can follow Sed, North Central Music and A North Underground on the social media:

North Central Music:

https://www.facebook.com/northcentralmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/north_central_music/
https://twitter.com/NorthCentralMu1

A North Underground:

https://www.facebook.com/ANorthernUnderground/
https://twitter.com/ANorthernUnder1
https://www.instagram.com/anorthernunderground/

So grab your tickets my dears and lets meet in the underground. Once you know the secret about good music – you can forget the top 40 and enjoy the future.

We will see you in Liverpool or Manchester. Hit the North!

M/R

Indieterria meets Neville Staple

Dear Readers,

Neville Staple is an artist who does not need introduction – a legend, an original Rude Boy and a musician that soudtracked the last four decades for millions of people around the world.  His work with The Specials, Fun Boy Three and Special Beat puts him on the front-lines of 2 tone ska movement. In short, ladies and gentlemen, rude boys and girls – we had a pleasure to speak to Mr Staple about his music, 40th anniversary of ska, charity work and his degree.

The Neville Staple Band – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com/

We would like to start this interview by congratulating you. On July 10th you were awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Arden University in recognition of your musical career and involvement in the community. Well done Doctor! How do you feel?

Neville Staple: Thank you so much. I feel great actually. I am a rude boy who came up from the street, who found opportunities and ran with them, who realised what talents I could bring to the table and brought them. Its all I had, so I used them. I have had over 40 amazing years in entertainment and music, so to be honoured by a very new and classy university like Arden, is brilliant. With all the awards I have gained over the years with albums, singles and other production work, this is extra special, because it is very personal to me and guys like me, don’t get such things easily, without really stepping up. Yeah, I am very proud.

 It’s the 40th anniversary of The Specials this year. Did you ever imagine when you joined the band that four decades later you will be still making music and touring?

Neville Staple:  Before the Specials I was an entertaining, I won dance competitions, performed with the Ray King Soul Band and toasted lyrics with Messenger and Jah Baddis Sound Systems, so I was always going to have a life in music, I reckon. But I probably wouldn’t have believed I’d still be making music, producing albums and soundtracks, or touring the world, all these years later. It’s great and keeps me young!

Neville and Sugary Staples – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com/

2Tone Ska movement are credited with defusing racial tensions in Thatcher- era Britain by mixing reggae and punk. Music journalists rightly point out that even the chequered patterns used by the movements (black and white squares) symbolized the unity felt by musicians at that time. It’s hard not to draw parallels between that period and “hostile environment” now. Do you think music can again heal the divided society in the times of Brexit?

Neville Staple:  One of my recent songs, “Put Away Your Knives” has led to a lot of people coming forward and looking at more solutions to knife crime. People contact my wife Sugary and me about the issues they face, or the projects they want to set up and lots of other stuff.  So, if that is the power of just one song, then yes, I do believe that we can always make a difference, through music. “Politician Man”, “The Border” and “Road Block” on recent albums, also caused a lot of dialogue with fans, who recognised issues from their own lives, or communities or from the news. Even “Way of Life” was written about our friends who sat in a bar, having a drink, when the Borough Market and London Bridge ‘terror attacks’ took place. That song is about their night of dread and the conversations that took place afterwards, among families and friends. I still prefer to address society through my music.

Your friends in The Specials took on the current politics and Windrush scandal in a song “Vote for me” with bitter words about tearing families apart. You also seem to tackle that issue. In a video to your single “Return of Judge Roughneck” you and the band are seen in the dock for “serious crimes”. You also re-recorded one of your old hits “Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” and it sounds like it was written yesterday. Do you see yourself as a political commentator or rather as an artist holding the mirror to society?

Neville Staple:  Mostly an artist holding a mirror to society, but perhaps a little bit of both. Judge Roughneck definitely knows a lot about what is wrong in society and especially about those who exploit or hurt others. So, he condemns them all (could be politicians, bankers or violent attackers), but because his hands are tied (or maybe he colludes), the guilty do not get properly punished, they get probation! So, they are still free to do what they do. That is definitely a mirror of the society that I see every day.

You work very closely with your wife and manager Christine Sugary Staple. She supports you on tour and you appeared with her on the “Rude Rebels” album. Many people would fear being business partners with their significant others. You seem to enjoy it. What’s your secret?

Neville Staple:  Being soul mates is the secret. She is my right arm. She has been there through good and bad, happy and sad. She is the heart, strength and support to all what I do, and I try to be the same to her, and she manages the band and me. We worked on Rude Rebels together and she is so talented in the studio, that is easy to work with her, and she did a lot of work on my other recent albums and singles. We also have great fun on the road. She is an original rude girl so knows how to deal with an original rude boy (laughs) Perfect match!

 All though your career, you had a chance to work and perform alongside the biggest names in the industry: The Clash, David Byrne, The Go-Gos and even Bananarama. If we can ask you to name an artist you never got a chance to meet or collaborate with. Who is “the one that got away”?

Neville Staple:  Following Amy Winehouse’s appearance beside me on stage, which was brilliant, we then looked at plans to do some recordings. I was gutted that I never had the chance to do it. But out of today’s current artists, I still love to mix up different genres and the rough with the smooth, so I would like to meet and work with Bastille, to do a sweet and cool, driving track, with a rude spin; or definitely with Stormzy, to do something edgy and catchy, deep and inspiring. We could let people see that elders and young people can unite and create great things together. A show of unity and respect, with an important message. Yeah, good things!

The Neville Staple Band – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com

After leaving The Specials, you reinvented yourself as a solo artist. Recently, you have been touring successfully with your own assemble, The Neville Staple Band. Can you please introduce your band members to us? Who’s joining you on stage?

Neville Staple:  To be honest, I have never not had a solo career of some kind, in over 40 years. And the Neville Staple Band actually celebrates its 15-year anniversary this year. I put some of my own band tours on hold, when I did the most recent 2009–2012 reunion with the Specials (there have been at least 3 reunions with recorded albums and tours over the years), but I was still doing NSB shows in-between the Specials tours too. I have also always done DJ shows too, since my sounds system days. And before the Neville Staple Band 15 years ago, I had Neville Staple and The Hitmen, and Special Beat, Today’s Specials, plus the Legends of 2Tone Band, that I fronted and toured all over with. I have never not had a solo career or other collaborations going on.

My current band has Sugary up front with me on vocals, doing some lead and some backing; Joe Atkinson on both keys and piano, Sledge Armstrong on bass, Matty Band on drums, Billy Shinbone on guitar, Spencer Hague on trombone and Drew Stansall on Saxophone. These guys are the best. True and loyal friends too.

 Your newest single “Put Away Your Knives” could easily be classified as a protest song about the epidemic of knife crimes sweeping through urban areas such as London, Birmingham or Sheffield. The song is dedicated to your grandson, Fidel Glasgow who tragically lost his life in 2018. The song will collect funding for Victim Support. Can you tell us more this track?

Neville Staple:  It is a protest song. It is a song to say enough now. Enough! Someone has to say it like it is. Stop running around with knives, stop killing each other. Think of your future. One day you could become a dad yourself. Who the hell are your kids going to look up to? You there? You with the big knife hidden in your clothes? I don’t think so! Or you over there, yeah you – the guy who just shot a 17-year-old kid, because the kid upset the puppet master from your endz! It has gone too far! Everyone needs to step on it. My wife Sugary says, every parent, every school, every auntie, uncle, grandparent, politician, neighbour and local organisations, need to step up and get involved. If everyone took a stand and said ENOUGH NOW, ENOUGH, and did their bit to make a change, no matter how small, in their own community or family, we could win this. Don’t just wait for it to happen to you or near you. Stamp it out before it does. People are left devastated, with too many parents and grandparents are burying their young families. We have to make a stand now.

Neville Staple 1 – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com

 “Put Away Your Knives” and your other recent single “Working Hard Everyday” were mixed and engineered by Tom Lowry at Planet Studios in Coventry. Tom has worked with, from the legendary Kumar Sanu, to Spectrum and the Specials. How do you remember working with him? It must have felt like visiting an old friend.

Neville Staple:  Tom and I have been great friends for so long. We worked together from when we first set up studio space. I had a record label of my own and I used to produce artists at Tom’s studio back in the late 80’s onwards. It was there that we produced Johnny Zee, Stereo Nation (aka Tarzam Singh) and Lieutenant Pidgeon. We have never stopped working together and being friends. I even flew Tom over to the States in the 1990’s, when I was over there recording and producing, to help me with some of my engineering and production work. Even now, with both Tom and Sugary in the studio with me, it`s like a night out with great friends, where you all support each other and just get on really well. He’s like family to me.

 You are shortly due to hit the road that will take you all over the UK. What can we expect from your newest shows?

Neville Staple: I will be performing my hit songs with the Specials and classics from my career.
I always have a party with the fans. They love to sing along, jump, skank and stomp with us. No two shows are the same and they are not like being sat at home with an MP3 on. What’s the point of that? We prefer to make each show energetic and individual to match the audience on the night. We could be performing a show with thousands, or a smaller venue with hundreds, but will still give them the best night ever. Come and see!

The last questions at Indieterria are always a bit of fun. You are the original Rude Boy and we have to ask – if you could do one naughty thing and never get caught, what would it be?

Neville Staple:  I would steal back all the rights to my own song writing that I unwittingly signed away to others many years ago, or I would hack the tax system and give every hard-working individual, a 10- year full tax rebate!! (laughs)

Neville Staple – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com

You can follow Neville Staple on socials:

http://www.originalrudeboy.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/NevilleStapleBand
https://twitter.com/NevilleStaple
https://www.instagram.com/originalrudeboy1/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLdTZw3peRaUrjwrckSps8Q
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3cpVKY88BdRzsgWf5mHaUo?si=W0LYHYmTRj-BhgduTKDn2Q

We would like to thank to Mr Staple for his time and to Shauna McLarnon of Shameless Promotion PR for making arrangements.

Love,

M/R

Indieterria Reviews – “Remainder” by Trupa Trupa

Dear Readers,

It is with the greatest of pleasures that we present you today’s review. For the first time ever, Indieterria is hosting a band from Poland! And they are, in our opinion, one of the best bands to come out of our native country in many years.

Trupa Trupa has been present on the international market since the release of their debut album in 2015. Musically, they are closer to Fugazi and experimental shoe gaze mixed with wild psychedelic rollercoaster. This year Trupa Trupa played Off Festival and SXSW where they received rave reviews from Chicago Tribune, NPR and Rolling Stone!

Official bio: Trupa Trupa are Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Tomek Pawluczuk, Wojtek Juchniewicz and Rafal Wojczal. They made their first international appearance in 2015 with the album “Headache” published by a British label Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records. A year later, they signed to French Ici d’ailleurs, where they released a remastered version of “Headache” on vinyl. In 2017, in cooperation with their British and French labels, the band recorded and put out “Jolly New Songs”, which was also published by the Japanese label Moorworks. In recent years, Trupa Trupa have toured extensively, playing at the SXSW, Primavera Sound, Iceland Airwaves, Colours of Ostrava, Waves Vienna, Eurosonic, Liverpool Sound City, to name just a few. In February, 2019 the band released a single “Dream about” via Sub Pop Records. The new album “Of The Sun” will be international cooperation between Glitterbeat Records (Europe & elsewhere), Lovitt Records (USA), Moorworks (Japan) and Antena Krzyku (Poland). Release date: September 13th, 2019. The band works with Paradigm Talent Agency in North America, South America, Asia, & Australia and ATC Live for Europe, and will promote the new album with tours in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Wojtek Juchniewicz by Steve Hampson

Their single “Remainder” is KEXP’s song of the day and received a solid airplay on BBC through Stuart Maconie, Gideon Cole and Tom Ravenscroft. The band has been mentioned or interviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine, Pitchfork, Wire Magazine, Clash Magazine and many others.

We have sat down with Grzesiek Kwiatkowski, the singer and guitarist of the band to speak about the new song, his fear of people and why discussing history is so important in times of social divide.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: My name is Grzegorz Kwiatkowski. I am the singer and guitarist of Trupa Trupa.

Trupa Trupa by Steve Hampson

Where are you based and who is in the band?

 Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Trupa Trupa is based in Gdańsk, in the north of Poland. Except for myself, the band consists of Rafał Wojczal (guitar/keyboards), Tomek Pawluczuk (drums) and Wojtek Juchniewicz (bass guitar, guitar and vocals).

Tell us something about your new single “Remainder”? Is there any story behind it?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Everything we do can be interpreted in many different ways that’s why there isn’t a single story behind this song. Wojtek wrote the lyrics so his interpretation of “Remainder”, his idea behind this track, is not the same as mine. I’m not even sure if I truly understand what inspired him to write it. I can only tell you what it means to me personally. And I think, when people start listening to the song, they realize it is a protest against denial, against conveniently forgetting about things that happened in the past. It is a song about Shoah (Holocaust), about human catastrophe.

Trupa Trupa (again) by Steve Hampson

Where did you record the song? Was it in your home town of Gdansk (Poland) or somewhere else?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: The song was recorded, along with our entire album “Of The Sun”, in Custom 34 recording studio in Gdansk.

The song comes with a black and white video that looks like it was filmed through a telescope. Can you tell us where it was shot and who directed it?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: The video to “Remainder” was directed by Nick Larson but Aleksander Makowski helped him a lot on the set so it’s rather a cooperation between the two of them. I have discussed the meaning of the song with them before the shoot and they seem to agree with my interpretation. The video too tells the story of a humanitarian disaster.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Yes. We work with ATC Live and Paradigm Talent Agency so we are really in great hands when it comes to touring. This fall, we will play in America, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland. So far, we have booked four shows in the UK: in London (Sebright Arms on 27th of September), Brighton (The Hope & Ruin on 2nd of December), Glasgow (The Hug and Pint on 4th of  December) and Leeds (Hyde Park Book Club on 5th of December).

You can purchase tickets online:
London: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38535964-trupa-trupa-at-sebright-arms
Brighton: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38990036-trupa-trupa-at-hope-and-ruin
Leeds: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38982813-trupa-trupa-at-hyde-park-book-club
Glasgow: tickets available soon

Your new album “Of The Sun” will be released in September through Glitterbeat Records (Europe & elsewhere), Lovitt Records (USA), Moorworks (Japan) and Antena Krzyku (Poland). What can we expect on the record?

Tour poster

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Each song we put on the album is open to individual interpretation. For me, the record feels like a “Samuel Becket Lonely Hearts Club Band”. It is about time and nothingness. It deals with social issues on “Remainder”. And it is important to talk about these things. You see, few month ago, we wouldn’t be speaking about politics, but the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, was murdered by a person radicalized by a right-wing hate speech. It was a huge shock for the entire country but it particularly strongly affected us. Gdansk is a city of freedom, (this is where the Solidarity movement started – Vandian Avenue), so the shock was even bigger. The band is now more aware of how the world around us has changed in the last couple of years, how bad it really became. We almost felt the history knocking on the door of our rehearsal room. I dedicated our SXSW shows to our murdered president.

I have always been rather afraid of people so that hasn’t changed. But now I realize, we live in a crazy, fucked-up Brexit-Trump times. Our reality has always been cruel and a lot has been done to cover up the brutality and violence. In the past however, people were more pretending, they wore masks. They were hiding their intentions. And suddenly, they feel empowered to say whatever they want. They do things in the most egoistic ways. Not all of them, but many do. They dont care about others. I feel this is a very risky situation. Evil can spread around faster than ever.

New single “Remainder”:
https://idol.lnk.to/Remainder

Tour: 
https://www.facebook.com/trupatrupa/photos/p.2530909726960137/2530909726960137/?type=1&theater

You can follow Trupa Trupa on socials:
http://www.trupatrupa.com/
https://www.facebook.com/trupatrupa/
https://twitter.com/trupatrupaband
https://www.instagram.com/trupa_trupa/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafPyfB3DfnALknzO4NMYCw

Articles:
https://soundcloud.com/trupa-trupa/david-fricke-of-rolling-stone-about-new-album-and-remainder-on-siriusxm
https://rockandrollglobe.com/shoegaze/trupa-trupa-coming-to-america/
https://www.gigwise.com/news/3329600/watch-trupa-trupa-share-video-for-new-song-longing
https://www.clashmusic.com/features/dreams-and-reflections-trupa-trupa-interviewed

“Of The Sun”, Trupa Trupa’s new album will be released in September and we will be reviewing it as soon as it gets into our hands.
You can preorder your copy now fom Bandcamp:
https://trupatrupa.bandcamp.com/album/of-the-sun

The band is also working hard at adding new dates to their UK tour so keep your eyes open for possible gigs in Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham!
We would like to thank Steve Hampson for his beautiful pictures taken during band’s rehearsal in Gdansk in July.

Support your (international) scene!
XXX
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets Bexatron

Dear Readers,

They are one of London`s best kept secrets, a band that took classic rock influences and dragged them into XXI century. Holding to their DIY ethos with pride, their amps turned up to 11 and writing songs that will make you shake your booty – Bexatron offer you a whole package of rock and roll fun.  You will not regret this ride. Get on! We sat down with Greg Radcliffe to speak about their beginning, gruelling recording sessions and touring Canada.

 

Band logo

Your bio introduces you as “an octane pop punk with a glam coat” from the heart of London. What an intriguing way to describe a band! Please tell our readers who is in Bexatron and how did the group start?

Greg Radcliffe:  Bexatron consists of BeXXX on vocals, Belle Star on drums, Adam Adorjan on bass and me on guitar. I had been for looking for a singer to front a band which eventually became Bexatron for months. I bumped into BeXXX in Bruno’s Cafe in Soho in London.

I thought she looked the business and asked if she could sing. She said yes. The rest is history. I knew the boys already so when they heard her sing, they jumped in.

 The band has been compared to rock greatest (Blondie, Joan Jett, The Pretenders) and lauded for bringing uncompromising rock with a charismatic female leader back to the frontlines. God knows we missed it.  Do you see yourselves as saviours of rock from repetitiveness and mediocrity?

Greg Radcliffe:  We’re not saviours. We are more pioneers of a genre of music that we like. Putting our own slant on it. We are constantly avoiding repetitiveness and mediocrity. I would say 75% of what we do ends up on the cutting room floor.

Bexatron live – photography by Tosh Marshall
https://www.facebook.com/ToshMarshallPhotography/

 Bexatron has released their debut album “Hey You” in December 2018 and a stand-alone single “Dirty Disco”. One of the things being mentioned in every review is how the records brings generations of guitar music fans together. It`s like you found a secret formula between classic rock antics while sounding fresh and appealing for young audience. What`s your secret?

Greg Radcliffe: There’s no secret (laughs) You hit the nail on the head. All the aforementioned artists, we have been disciples of. We are just spreading the word through our own interpretations. I guess that what keeps it fresh.

 In an interview for Vents Magazine you described the recording sessions as demanding and not without difficulties. Tell us where “Hey You!” was created and how do you manage to face gruelling recordings with such energy and positivity? 

Greg Radcliffe: “Hey You!” was created in Soho, Kilburn, Hackney, Barcelona. The recording was gruelling but we thought to stick to our guns and make the record ‘WE’ wanted. It could have easily ended up on X Factor. Underneath the songs are basically pop songs. However, we didn’t want that one-minute wonder sound. We’re here to stay.

You are now back with a new single “I`m Trash” – an angry track directed at the modern life and how powers that be can make us feel small and insignificant.  Where did the inspiration for the track come from?

Greg Radcliffe:  We wouldn’t say “I`m Trash” is an angry song. It’s reflective of, as you mentioned, modern day life and the society we live. The song like the whole album is pretty much based around London past and present.

Bexatron live shows are legendary – audience dancing, singing lyrics back at the band (in a slightly off-key manner) and generally having good fun. You just recently smashed it at Camden Rocks. How was it to play a home coming gig?

Greg Radcliffe: Camden is our spiritual home. It`s always nice to play to a packed Camden Assembly at 2 pm on the hottest day of the year.

The band is soon off to play your first tour of Canada. It seems like a natural step considering the amount of radio airplay you received there. What can your overseas fans expect from your shows?

Greg Radcliffe:  I think our audience in Canada expect to see the fourth dimension. So far, they have heard it from their radios or phones and seen it on TV screens. Now they are going to get the real deal up close.

Bexx in her element – photography by Tosh Marshall
https://www.facebook.com/ToshMarshallPhotography/

Talking about support from radio stations. Amazing Radio has been championing you a lot these days.  So does BBC Introducing. Do you have any DJs that were instrumental for your career that you would like to give a shout out to?

Greg Radcliffe: All’s been pretty grass roots radio wise. We need to mention Spizz on Resonance Radio, Peter Fox on Foxy Radio, Dave Renegade on Dark Hearts of Camden Radio, Gwen Ever on Deal Radio and Stuart Clack on The Premium Blend Radio. There’s many more, but the reason we’ve given them a shout is that they have all been to our gigs, not just spun our tune.

When all the touring obligations are completed, and you have some time for yourselves – do you plan to take longer holidays or rather just bury yourself in the studio again?

Greg Radcliffe: No holidays, we will just keep on promoting “Hey You!” through till festival time 2020. You can expect our next offering in October 2020. As we’ve already said 75% of our stuff ends up on the cutting room floor, but we’ve already got a fair whack done and start shaping it up when we get back.

Last (in)famous question – imagine that you can play any legendary venue in the world for your most dedicated fans. Where do you take them?

Greg Radcliffe:  Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Bexxx:  CBGBS in New York.
Adam Adorjan: Madison Square Garden in New York.
Belle Star: The Rounhouse in London.

The band live on stage – photography by Graham Hearn https://www.facebook.com/graham.hearn.9

You can follow the band on socials:

https://www.bexatronuk.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bexatronlive/
https://twitter.com/_BEXATRON
https://www.instagram.com/bexatron_ukofficial/
https://soundcloud.com/bexatron_london
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvDY-TyjsmRspVwYDI74MSg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2vKP9JrDVQyfNroiqCdAkk?si=w_I3B9K_SMepx-vjmC4zAA

Big thank you to Greg Radclife for agreeing to this interview and to Mimi Brock-Stark of Lander PR for making necessary arrangements.

Shall we meet again on the blog for more kick ass music talk? You bet.

M/R

Indieterria meets Joseph Murray

Dear Readers,

Some time ago we had a pleasure and privilege to speak to Gavin Monaghan, the founder of legendary West Midlands` studios – Magic Garden. The interview proved so popular that we were asked to go back and write some more about the studio and its personnel.  And we are happy to oblige. Part of what we do at Indieterria is to highlight the assets that young and up and coming bands have at their disposal. And nothing is more essential than a good recording studio and talented producers/engineers. Bands, artists and those of you who one day plan to produce albums professionally – please meet Joe Murray. He is one of the best engineers in the country and he has a lot of incredible things to say about working with musicians, mixing and making the magic happen.

If that is not the best interview we did this year then we don`t know how to do interviews.

Joe Murray at work

You are second in command at the iconic Magic Garden Recording Studios.  Please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria.

Joseph Murray: Hey everyone. My name is Joseph (Joe) Murray and I’m here to try to answer these wonderful questions and hopefully not bore y’all to deathhh!

Gavin Monaghan – the owner of  Magic Garden described you as a man of many talents. You act as engineer, producer and mixer. You and Gavin work very closely with each other. How do you divide the workload on a regular day in the office?

Joseph Murray:  That is very kind of him as always. One of my favourite things about music is that there is no such thing as a regular day, which keeps things exciting and creative! I think due to how long and how closely we’ve worked together on mountains of records, we’re able to share the workload in various different ways to get the best out of the track and the band. So here’s a rough example of working with a random 3-4 piece band:

Step one: The Band shows up and before anything we have a look around and a general chat. The main thing is putting the band at ease and trying to make sure everyone`s comfortable and “vibing”. The band`s music is massively important and the recording will live forever,  so of course there can be a few nerves here and there.  I try to make sure the band knows I’m on their side and their music means as much to me as to them!

Step two: After all the gear is loaded in and coffees have been made, we’ll all gather in the control room and have a talk about the song and the vision for the track. It`s crucial to get an idea of where we’re heading.

Step three: Once we’ve discussed the in’s and out`s and any ideas on how we should track the record, there’ll be a little bit of mind reading between Gavin and myself and I will head next door to the live room with the drummer to get a better idea of what kit they are using. Whether they can use studio`s various shells or maybe they’ve brought their own or perhaps they just got their prize snare. I’ll then give all the drums a tune which is HUGELY important and often overlooked! The drummer and myself will have a nice in-depth chat about what they like and we will find two, maybe three snares to narrow it all down.

Step four: When we’re hearing everything back through the mics, we’ll then move on to start tracking against the vibey guide track Gavin and the rest of the band have put together.  We’ll do this till we’ve got the “magic” and then I’ll spend a little while putting together the best of each take whilst the band get some sustenance or a nap.

Step five: Then it’s time for the big bad BASS, which 9 times out of 10 we will capture through a high quality direct signal and an amp for vibe. Having the direct signal means that when we’ve wandered into guitar land, we can re-amp the direct bass through various oddities and balance the mid-range against the real guitars.

Step six: And speaking of guitars – another bit of mind reading takes place and Gavin dons the chef`s hat and starts crafting the bands melodic elements. At this point,  I`ll take what we’ve got so far into my mix room and start doing some session file housekeeping so that once Gavin has tracked the rest of the musical components it`s a matter of bringing it all together. From here I’ll start working on my Mix! Every day is completely different: some days I’m producing an electronic artist in one room and Gavin is recording an acoustic songwriter next door and on other occasions I’m mixing an album whilst Gavin’s producing vocals for another project. Every sessions is different so I’m open and ready for most anything (animal attacks included).

Joe worked with many established acts – here in the picture he is shown with Paper Buoys

About two months ago we interviewed  Gavin himself and he mentioned that the studio was being refurbished. Can you update us on the progress of the works? How does Magic Garden grow?

Joseph Murray:  The studio is always changing and growing, which again keeps things fresh we’re always on the hunt for the next big thing or a mysterious hidden gem.

At the moment, we’re putting focus on the benefits of a hybrid approach so far as getting the most out of the computer whilst also squeezing out the analog goodness of the hardware units. The main room is centred around two different analog consoles from two different eras to give us options and choices, when it comes to different genres or bands or even song by song.

One of the desks is a vintage 70’s German broadcast, which gives us great clarity, punch and in general just makes most things sound a little more lively. Then to the side, we’ve got a fantastic gem of a 60’s British desk which again gives us vibe, colour and some nice, rich saturation.

We’ve also got a stock of various preamps – for even more flavours. I find that if you can get the recording chain working WITH the sound from the start, life is just easier later. They’re all tools, like paintbrushes – some are great for huge broad tonal strokes and others are better for fine movements and just a little bit of highlighting.

Meanwhile in the “B” Room, we’ve focused on the finishing side of projects and put the emphasis again on a hybrid approach focusing on the summing side and making sure that the hardware used is as flavourful as possible. In both rooms we’ve got matched monitors to make it easier to transition projects and maintain the same vibe and vision. There’s also a vast microphone collection ranging from the standards to the weird and wonderful and that floats between the rooms

What we are trying to do via this blog is to highlight options available for people who want to break into the music business. And we not only mean artists or bands, but also future technical experts: producers and sound engineers. Judging from your experience –  if somebody wants to find themselves on the other side of the mixing desk – where should they do?

Joseph Murray:  I can obviously only speak for myself and my own experiences, so my advice would be… you should be prepared to work hard (and long) and make sure you love music. Luckily music is so multifaceted and there are so many moving parts that I guarantee there are jobs you’ve never even heard of.

I’ve always thought that the technical side of the recording process can come second and will be worked on for years and years and years… So as long as you’ve got the attitude and decent taste you’re onto a winner. I would also say to remain open minded, you could walk in wanting to be the producer but find that you actually enjoy the engineering side more or even the sound design aspect. Be fearless-ish.

Prepared for any weather.

What are the do`s and don’ts of your profession. If you were to pen a list of helpful and unhelpful habits of studio personnel, what would you include?

Joseph Murray:  I think that attitude is probably one of the most important aspects to studio life. It’s long days, usually all in the same room. You’re dealing with people and it`s important that they know you’re on the same team and you only want what`s best for the song at the end of the day. Being able to write a good clear track sheet is always helpful, making (good or bad) coffee is always appreciated, in fact make lots of coffee. Take notes, ask questions, listen to  e v e r y t h i n g .

For don’ts – each studio or professional will have a different view on what not to do but my main one is don’t make mine or anyone else in the rooms life harder and that`s about it.

You have been instrumental in creating one of our favourites albums of last year – “Columbia”  by The Blinders. Tell us more about the recording process behind this record? Was it easy to work on it? Or maybe it was a truly dystopian experience?

Joseph Murray:  That`s great to hear and thank you very much! It was a brilliant album to be a part of for many reasons. Firstly, I lurvve the guys and they’re great to just hang out. Secondly the songs were top notch and they’re performers through and through, which makes creating an exciting record a joy. The process for the album wasn’t too out of the ordinary and just felt organic. They’re a band with a collective vision and unwavering commitment to get to it. They each know what they like and what they want whilst also being collaborative and open to suggestions and guidance. We were able to develop the songs in such a way that I reckon got the best out of everyone!

A parent shouldn’t have favourites but we need to ask  – which album you worked on so far is your pride and joy?

Joseph Murray: (laughs) Well I try to make whatever I’m working on at the moment be my favourite. I like the idea that for the time the band are in the studio with me I join them as an auxiliary member and in doing so it’s not about a personal ego or a personal preference, it`s about collaboration and doing your best for the band. We’re Family!

There are records I’m proud to been part of because of their musical or emotional significance, there are records I’m proud of because of my input and contribution and records that I’m proud to be part of because of the experience, so I wouldn’t say I have a favourite. It`s like being part of all of these different little tribes!

Besides working in the studio, we have seen you delivering am impressive stand up comedy sets at Musicians Against Homelessness gig in Birmingham in April. Was it one off or have you been doing it for a while now?

Joseph Murray: Ah, well thank you very much! That was actually my first set. I’ve never considered myself a stand up comedian, just a guy who spouts various amounts of nonsense and likes to hear people laugh. It was for a very good cause and as I’m a musician who is most definitely against homelessness how could I say no! If you’re also a musician who is against homelessness, I suggest having a look into what Musicians Against Homelessness do!

Joe Murray delivering stand up comedy set at Musicians Against Homelessness gig in Birmingham. Photo by Annie Monaghan
https://www.facebook.com/annie.monaghan.984

Every sound engineer have their favourite tools to use. What piece of equipment you just have to have at hand?

Joseph Murray: I often will rant about how you can make a record anywhere using anything because it’s the songs that matter and a good song will always be a good song. That being said, it’s nice to have the luxury of your favourite tools and it`s more often a question of what you’re comfortable using. The most important thing for me is my ears and monitors. Everything else is a bonus. My desert island bag would probably have in it a particular snare we’ve acquired that I don’t know much about other than it sounds incredible and seems to just balance the rest of the kit really nicely! Not to compare myself to Van Gogh but if he didn’t have his favourite brush I reckon he’d still paint a masterpiece.

We know that working with Gavin is a dream come true – he is the Wizard of Wolverhampton after all. However, let’s pretend you can work with any other producer (alive or dead) on any album in existence. Who do you choose to collaborate with and what’s the title of the record?

Joseph Murray: I feel that music is always changing and evolving and growing, so I struggle to pick a favourite album or producer. There are thousands of records that I would love to be part of. Some albums that come to mind straight away are the Berlin era recordings by David Bowie, especially “Heroes” produced by Tony Visconti whilst Brian Eno and Iggy Pop were hanging around too. That would of been an experience, especially seeing Tony recording Robert Fripp creating melodic feedback just by walking around the room.

I also think being with Nigel Godrich recording “OK Computer” would of been amazing, to be at the genesis of this new turn in modern music.

There are so many more – Bob Marley`s “Exodus” (not just for the weather), The Beach Boys` “Pet Sounds”, Marvin Gaye`s “What`s Going On”, Wu-Tang Clan`s ”36 Chambers”, Beastie Boys` “Ill Communication” and of course Fleetwood Mac`s “Rumours”.

Thank you very much for talking to us!

Joseph Murray: Thank you so much for your brilliant questions and I hope my answers made some sort of sense! Keep It Loud and One Love.

You can follow Joseph Murray on the socials:

https://www.facebook.com/josephjosephmurraymurray
https://www.instagram.com/josephjosephmurraymurray/

And Magic Garden Recording Studios can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/MagicGardenRecordingStudio/
https://twitter.com/MagicGardenUK
https://www.instagram.com/magicgardenstudio/

There is an awesome playlist that showcases all the recordings made at Magic Garden on Spotify:

Yeah we know, we are so lucky to have such incredible studio in West Midlands and people like Joe and Gavin to take care of all the local (and not so local) artists. If you look for a place to bring your art to life – please get in touch with Magic Garden.

R/M

Indieterria Review – “97/91” by The Battery Farm

Dear Readers,

If you spent more than five minutes on social media in the last two years, chances are that you have seen this viral quote on how David Bowie kept the universe together. The Starman`s gone and everything is coming apart at the seams.

Band`s logo

It`s hard to deny that we are going through some very dark days and finding hope may seem like an impossible task. But we believe that there is a force out there that is much stronger than bombs, violence or any orange impostor (or his blond counterpart) in office. That force is art/music and we have plenty of incredible artists among us who do an excellent job at repairing the fabric of universe and keeping us all sane.

The beauty of art is that anyone can make it and you don`t have to have top 40 albums to contribute significantly to the eternal quest of balancing cosmic powers.

We want you to meet a brand new band that we recently discovered, who are incredibly apt at channelling the internal anxiety felt nowadays and providing sonic catharsis to listeners. They are called The Battery Farm and come from our favourite place on Earth – Manchester.  Their debut single “97/91” is a powerful anthem of thundering drums, heavy guitars and haunted vocals.  It fits perfectly in the new emerging genre of post punk revival, mixing semi spoken vocals with musical fury. The song will prove ideal both in the mosh pit or in the gym and fans of Idles, Bambara, Sons and Avalanche Party should pay closer attention.

But there is more to The Battery Farm than soundtracking the moment. Its the way they speak in the interviews, how they respect and champion other artists, their ethics. We sat down with their lead singer Benjamin Corry for an interview and the first thing he tells us is that kindness is magic.  Among all the new bands that blow their own trumpet and proclaim that they are new Oasis, how absolutely amazing is to hear that there are artists who have a different approach to life.

This is our entire conversation with The Battery Farm. Worth reading. Every. Single. Word.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Benjamin Corry:  Hello! We are The Battery Farm, a doom punk band from Manchester playing vicious, guttural punk music pulsating with rawness, honesty, pain and passion. We are Ben Corry (vocals/guitar), Dominic Corry (guitar), Paul Worrall (bass) and Sam Parkinson (drums)

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?

Benjamin Corry:  Me and Dom formed the band on the back of our old band breaking up. The whole mentality since we started has been to put everything together piece-by-piece and just see how far we can get. So with that in mind just managing to get the band together has felt like an achievement. The idea for The Battery Farm only came about towards the end of last year, but actually getting to the point of being able to have a functioning band feels like an achievement. That sounds well trite but it’s true. We played our first gig a couple of weeks ago, released our debut single on 15th June and played our first festival on 6th July (R-Fest in Manchester). That’s the kind of start I wanted for us and so that’s an achievement in itself. Things have started with a bang and looking at what we’ve got coming up it’s only going to get better.

Benjamin Corry photographed by Richard McCann
https://www.facebook.com/richard.mccann.739

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Benjamin Corry:  Our lives and the world we live in inspire us and drive our sound and our words. The songs me and Dom write are borne – both musically and lyrically – out of the sense of desperation we felt at the end of last year, when we’d just about had enough of everything. These songs are an aural lashing out at ourselves, at the rest of the world, at the human race, at politicians, at the sense of life closing in around us. Passion and fear and anger and joy and desire for something better are things that inspire us. Human stuff. In terms of artists we admire, bands like Idles, Evil Blizzard, Radiohead, Witch Fever, Nirvana and Sleaford Mods bleed into our sound. Idles in particular are doing something remarkable at the moment; I think they’re the most important band in the world. Their music is violent and frantic and pulverising but at the same time is laced with the most beautiful empathy and compassion. I think the world needs more of that. Kindness is magic.

Its all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written?

Benjamin Corry:  “97/91” was actually written a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon an article about the murder of Suzanne Capper in the early 90s and the moral panic about it in the newspapers at the time. The article went into excruciating detail about what happened which stayed with me for months afterwards. One of the big factors in the story affecting me in the way it did was the fact that it happened in Moston, north Manchester, which is where I grew up. It sort of brought a horrific sense of reality to the whole thing – I know the street it happened on, I’ve walked past the houses, I’ve grown up with the area being a big part of my life. And it still informs a lot of my writing. To be able to envision it all so clearly made it all the more horrendous. That got me to thinking about why I reacted much more viscerally to this particular instance than I would have to the miserable horrors that go on across the world daily. The answer was because I’m familiar with the setting. It only felt real because I could see it. That is what “97/91” is about – that murder is a jumping-off point to explore the cognitive dissonance that is ingrained into people across the world that allows us to be passive in the face of the mass, grotesque violence going on in far-flung places every day. It’s a frightening, dystopian aspect of the human condition and it’s not generally something we’re aware we’re doing. I guess that’s the worst part. The song is a flailing at the worst things people are capable of. The world can be a fucking horror show, “97/91” is essentially a desperate scream in the face of it.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Benjamin Corry:  We’re at Night & Day Café in Manchester on 2nd August, then it’s our first out of town gig at Sound in Liverpool on 28th September for Low Flying Records’ Musicians Against Homelessness weekender. Low Flying have basically put together a huge MAH Festival across Merseyside. We’re on the Saturday and we can’t wait. After that we’re playing at Whittles in Oldham on 24th October. We have a couple more really good ones to announce but we’re not at liberty to discuss them just yet.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Benjamin Corry: E-mail us at batteryfarmband@gmail.com, or we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @hebatteryfarm

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Benjamin Corry: Elvis. Every time. I’m fascinated by him. That voice, that face, those eyes, that sheer, raw, uncontrollable presence and charisma. It’d be incredible to see what he could do with our songs and our sound. I doubt he’d like us to be honest, but this is my fantasy and in this universe Elvis bloody loves the punk rock.

The Battery Farm in their rehearsal room

You can follow The Battery Farm on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://twitter.com/TheBatteryFarm
https://www.instagram.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://thebatteryfarm.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChp93XaDBuXnmYQY-o2bhFg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qWGopTzUjeSYmsXyQ8RIr?si=DfhOPdjFRgugNDIkLVLuAA

That’s it. Here`s another band to add to our “Must See Bucket List”. And if you have a chance to catch them live – do so. With artists like The Battery Farm we are more than optimistic about the future of music, and even the universe.

M/R